Carolyn is a stay-at-home mom to five children. She works from home, managing her eBay business and writing content to help other moms.
What Is E-commerce?
The definition, according to Shopify, is as follows:
"Ecommerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. Ecommerce is often used to refer to the sale of physical products online, but it can also describe any kind of commercial transaction that is facilitated through the internet.
Whereas e-business refers to all aspects of operating an online business, eCommerce refers specifically to the transaction of goods and services." 1
Here, you'll find some of the best e-commerce business ideas for stay-at-home moms.
15 E-commerce Business Ideas for Stay-at-Home Moms
I hope that this list will give you some ideas and motivate you to get started with your own e-commerce website.
It's never been easier than right now to work for yourself from home and have the freedom that comes with having an e-commerce business.
Without further ado, here is the list of best e-commerce businesses for stay-at-home moms (in no particular order):
- Digital Products
- Print on Demand
- Soap Making
- Candle Making
- Beauty Products
- Course and Coaching Combo
- Subscription Boxes
- Refurbished Items
- Health Products
- Home Decor (Pillowcases/Rugs/Quilts)
1. Digital Products
The absolute best product that you can sell online in an e-commerce store is going to be digital.
With digital products, you put in the work once, and it can be purchased and downloaded unlimited times, all while you sleep.
As long as your website is up and running, you're good to go.
Digital Product Ideas
- Printable wall art
- Trackers (weight loss, daily, pantry, etc.)
- Wedding invitation templates
- Website templates
- Greeting cards
- Resume/cover letter templates
- Business cards
- Business logos
- Thank-you cards
- Pinterest/Instagram templates
- Email/newsletter templates
- Homeschooling printables
- Printable coloring pages
- Printable props/games
- Photography/stock photos
- Mobile apps
2. Print on Demand
If you're good at coming up with clever lines like, "I Don't Do Mornings" (OK, so that's not really all that clever, but you get the point), you could put them on mugs, t-shirts, or journals and sell them as part of a print-on-demand business.
Basically, you do the creating with pictures or words, and someone else looks after getting the physical product to your customer.
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You don't have to worry about shipping items or having to store tons of merchandise in your home somewhere.
Popular print on demand sites are:
3. Soap Making
Everybody needs to clean themselves, so soap will always be in demand!
There is also plenty of opportunities to sell at local farmer's markets besides just online.
You will have to pay for equipment and supplies before you can get going, and of course, you have to know how to actually make soap!
4. Candle Making
Many people are looking for unique and hand-crafted items such as natural scented candles, beeswax candles, or soy candles.
There are plenty of tutorial videos on YouTube that show you how to not only make these kinds of candles but also how to sell them on various e-commerce platforms and websites such as Etsy.
There is an opportunity to sell locally as well at farmers' markets and other craft shows as well if you wanted to.
5. Beauty Products
There is always a demand for beauty products and natural, hand-crafted ones are often the most popular.
Do a little research into what is popular and what sells and see if you can source the materials to begin crafting your own.
Containers of all kinds can be sourced from Amazon or other websites, and you can even design and print your own labels at home.
Some product ideas include:
- Body butters
- Lip balm
This could include physical (as opposed to digital) paintings, drawings, sculptures, pottery, and so forth.
Your imagination is your only limit to what you can create.
Besides selling on an e-commerce platform, showing your work on social media would be important too so that others can see your work. Instagram and Pinterest, for example, are great for showing artwork because they are so visual.
If you have the skill and know where to source the materials, this could be a very lucrative business.
There is high demand for precious metals, and this is only going to increase as inflation goes higher.
People are looking for items of value and are willing to trade their dollars for them as the value of our dollar deteriorates.
The cost of shipping would be a lot less than larger, bulky items too.
With the cost of food going up and more empty shelves in the supermarket, people will be looking to try and grow their own food.
If you live in an urban or suburban area, you might have enough space to grow seedlings to sell in the spring for local gardeners.
Microgreens are another option that is popular and doesn't take much space to grow in your home.
You could also sell seeds. You don't even cultivate your own! There are several sites that you can buy wholesale from and then re-package them yourself in smaller quantities and sell those online.
If you are in a rural area, there may be agricultural items people would be interested in purchasing for their farm. Chicken scratch? Rabbit feed? An old John Deere tractor (I hear they're selling at very high prices) . . . there is going to be a very big demand for items that help grow food in the coming years as our supply chains break down.
Certain governments have loosened restrictions around selling foods made at home and allowed the sale of homemade items.
You would need to check with your local government to see what is allowed.
Where I live (Ontario, Canada), you can now sell baked foods such as bread and such from your home, but, of course, you have to allow government inspectors to come into your home for the sake of food safety.
I don't want anyone in my home, but that's just me. My lovely neighbor across the street has been selling cakes and cookies and doing very well at it too!
If you love to bake and you are allowed, then take a chance and start selling those cookies!
10. Course and Coaching Combo
This falls under the "digital products" category but since this isn't entirely automated I left it out.
There is a growing trend of selling courses that include personal coaching in the package or some kind of personal input through Facebook groups or something along those lines.
If you have an area of expertise such as fitness or health or marketing, etc., you could create a course and offer coaching with that as a package or sell them separately if you want.
A good example of this would be Dr. Mindy Pelz, who runs the Reset Academy. People can sign up for the monthly or yearly package and learn how to fast, learn the keto lifestyle and have personal access to Dr. Pelz in group coaching calls and support.
11. Subscription Boxes
This is not an easy start-up, and the average starting cost is around $17,000.3
The typical subscription business has the following expenses: rent, equipment and manufacturing, IT and software, website fees, marketing and advertising, and labor.
If that's too much for you, you can always use the subscription business model for digital products instead of physical ones. This would be for access to content on your website, for example, or a service that you can offer.
How much can you make?
Though it varies greatly by industry, most subscription boxes have a profit margin of 40-60%. This number can further be increased if you offer one-time purchases or multiple pricing tiers.4
12. Refurbished Items
Are you handy with tools? Do you like fixing things? This might be a good option for you.
Items such as game consoles are sold "as is" usually for parts, but if you know how to repair them (there are even YouTube videos on how to fix them), you can turn around and sell them for a higher price.
This can apply to anything, though to make enough money you would want to repair items that typically have a higher resale value. Like Dyson vacuums, for example.
Or, if you know someone who can repair items, you can purchase an item because it needs repairing, have that person fix it, and then you turn around and sell it for a profit.
I used to do this with expensive designer shoes. I knew a cobbler who did outstanding work, so I bought broken shoes, and he fixed them for me, and I was able to re-sell them and make a profit.
Bike repair was another in-demand business here where I live last summer due to the run on bikes because of lockdowns. There weren't enough bike repair places to keep up with demand.
13. Health Products
There are pretty strict guidelines for selling health products, so I would do plenty of homework if you wanted to make your own to sell.
A better option is to sell already approved and established products instead.
Popular E-commerce Business Products
- Tea blends
- Smoothie powders
- Protein powders
- Essential oils
- Oral care
- Cough and cold products
- Home care products for the elderly
- Medical supplies and equipment
- Mobility aids and equipment
- Sleep and snoring aids
- Massage and relaxtion
- Nutrition bars and shakes
- Eye care
- Feminine hygiene
- Sexual wellness
- Skin care
- Hair care
This could be as simple as a tea blend. It could be smoothie powders or supplements. Some businesses have a drop-shipping model, and others require wholesale purchases.
If you were to go the dropping route, I would suggest looking for suppliers within the country you reside in in case there are further disruptions to the supply chain and logistics. So if you live in the US, look for drop ship companies that are in the US.
Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, health has been on everyone's mind, and many are looking to be in the best health that they can be to avoid getting sick or having health complications.
The world has shifted towards online shopping, with more and more e-commerce businesses bringing in sales compared to brick-and-mortar stores.
Clothing has been one area that has done well for e-commerce.
If you know how to sew, then you can start making your own clothing to sell. Baby clothes always do well, as do unique and well-made clothing for women.
Dropshipping is another option if you don't have the time or skill to make the clothing yourself.
Even something like patterns are something that could be sold in an online store. So Vintage Patterns is an example of an online store that exclusively sells vintage patterns, and they do quite well. I've ordered patterns from there myself!
Perhaps you have access to fabrics where you live that you could turn around and sell in your store. Many women are getting back into sewing, and the demand for fabric is increasing with more and more sites popping up offering fabrics for sale.
15. Home Decor
Items you could make yourself are things like pillowcases, curtains, duvet covers, tablecloths, and tea towels. These items can also be sold as part of a print-on-demand business if you don't care to make these items yourself.
Amish knot (rag) rugs are another popular item, and there are plenty of YouTube tutorials out there! Or, if you are one of the few people out there who have the skill and know-how of weaving, you could weave your own rugs and sell them.
If you are skilled in making quilts, you could sell those on your website as well. I've even seen second-hand quilts do very well at auctions. They are like a work of art, and there is opportunity to make a profit if this is your area of expertise or something that you enjoy doing.
There Are Many Opportunities in E-commerce for Stay-at-Home Moms
In all—as a stay-at-home mom, you have a lot of options.
What you don't have is a lot of time.
Inflation is not as "transitory" as we have been told, which means the cost of living is going to continue to go up.
Jobs are not as secure as they were before, especially with governments bringing in mandates.
Setting up an e-commerce business online is a smart way that you can start earning extra money, as much as six figures or more!
With a little homework and perseverance, you can do this! You don't need to know code or have fancy web skills. Most e-commerce sites are simply drag and drop. You can be up and running in a matter of days, if not hours.
There are plenty of excellent e-commerce platforms to choose from. I recommend Wix because it's super simple and easy to use compared to other platforms out there.
Wix enables you to do any of the business ideas mentioned, such as:
- Selling your own products
- Build recurring revenue with store subscriptions
- Dropshipping products
- Offer print on demand products
- And more
Turn your passion/skills/products into a lucrative living. The rewards can be incredible—good luck!
According to Darren DeMatas from Ecommerceceo.com:
"The ecommerce business industry is exploding...Shopping online used to be a convenience and a luxury, now – it’s a necessity. The ecommerce businesses that I work with can’t keep enough products stocked. Ecommerce has been growing for a while...The amount of interest in ecommerce right now is unprecedented."2
Pros of E-commerce Business
- Work from home
- Flexible hours/schedule (so you can be there for your family)
- Be your own boss
- Minimal start-up costs
- Work in a niche that you love
- Ability to tap into global markets
- Unlimited earning potential
- Save money on transportation costs/daycare costs
- Can make money while you sleep
- Research required before starting
- Can seem overwhelming to beginners
- Reliance on technology/the grid
- Growing competition in the e-commerce space
- Legal issues
- Customers can't buy before they try
Where Can I Build an E-commerce Website?
You can build your E-commerce website with Wix. It has everything you need to build a successful online business, including thoughtful website design and many must-have e-commerce features.
Other platforms include Shopify, Woocommerce, BigCommerce, and so on.
Be sure to shop around and find one that fits your needs and your budget.
If you already have your own blog you can check and see if your site allows e-commerce integration. I have my blog on Wix, and I could add the option of e-commerce if I wished (not available on the free plan).
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.